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White Rose Learning Centre have hosted an exciting summer project for young people aged 9-12, Summer School Musical, which is to be performed to an invited audience at Leeds Grand Theatre’s Howard Assembly Room on Thursday 12th August. Supported by Find Your Talent Summer School Musical was developed with the aim of creating and producing a musical from start to finish in two weeks.

33 performers, supported by 6 peer mentors (age 14-17) have been selected from Seacroft Manston, Morley and Inner North West areas of the city with the aim of introducing young people to the performing arts and to engage them with the heritage of Leeds Grand Theatre.

Summer School Musical was written, created and rehearsed (at the Howard Assembly Room) within eight days – the young performers have written their own music for the show alongside musicians and artists including Danny Gough, Claire Bleasdale and Naomi Parker.

Themed around ‘a journey through time’ the show centres on a group of teenagers who stumble across a derelict house where they find musical relics from the past which transports them through music from the 1960s into the present day.

The project has taken place at various locations including White Rose Learning Centre, BBC Media Centre at Primrose High, and the Derek Fatchett City Learning Centre. A partnership between Education Leeds Study Support, Leeds Grand Theatre and Extended Services, the project has enabled children and young people to work with a range of artists to develop their creative confidence, build new skills and have the opportunity to perform their own work in this prestigious Yorkshire venue.

The Leeds Be Healthy! Be Creative healthy schools programme offers a choice of over 100 challenges for schools that involve individuals, classes, teachers, families and year groups to choose to ‘just do one thing well’. This summer’s 2010 term will see a celebration event taking place at the Leeds Met Carnegie site on June 29th.

The challenges last for at least six weeks, which involve changing habits for the long term. For example, using Breeze to access information, visiting heritage sites on a regular basis, or learning a musical instrument.

The celebration event will have 60 schools participating, showing each other their achievements whilst having an opportunity to try out two of the six workshops being offered during the exciting ‘festival’ themed day including Circus Skills, Slam Poetry, Bhangra Dancing, African Drumming, Drama and Singing.

The programme has held five young leaders training days in April at Park Spring Primary, Morley High School, Templenewsam Halton Primary, Abbey Grange High and Wigton Moor Primary. Children and young people on the Young Leaders programme took part in activities that included confidence building, decision making, teamwork, presentation, and recording and evaluation skills.

The Young Leaders go back to their schools to run challenges with other pupils. Creative crew at the Carnegie event will be composed of Young Leaders who will help support the day and organise/plan the event.

One of the yr 4 pupils from Wigton Moor Primary has created this short poem from the BHBC Young Leaders training session, which describes some of the key points from their recent workshops;

Switch off the lights
Turn off the taps
Recycle your rubbish
Think about that
Think about the world
Our environment too
It’s got to last a long time
Not just for me, but for all of you too.

Families from across the city have been busy creating paintings, drawings, sculptures and collages as part of this year’s Open Show workshops. Hundreds of entries have already been submitted for this year’s event, organisers are encouraging even more families (young people, children, pre-schoolers and adults) to try out their artistic skills in the run up to Leeds Art Gallery’s August event.

Supported by Find Your Talent, the artist-led workshops have enabled children to explore their creativity and ideas in the run up to Open Show.  

The workshops will be held at Leeds Art Gallery on midweek days for the city’s primary and secondary school pupils. There are also free additional Children’s Art Day workshops for families and their children on Saturday 3rd July (pm), with two all-day workshop events on 10th July, and on 17th July. 

Children and Young People from all regions of Leeds have taken part in local workshops in areas such as Seacroft, Inner North West, and Morley. By encouraging families to participate and enter Open Show the gallery hopes to expand on the vibrant entries that have already been received for this year’s event.

Scrap Creative Reuse in partnership with Education Leeds have worked with year 5 & 6 pupils from Shire Oak, Burley St Mathias and Weetwood Primary (Inner North West) to create this eye-catching collection of giant scrap butterflies. Made from recycled materials the artworks became part of the sustainable schools standard in the city and were displayed at Elland Road’s Healthy Schools Conference.

Scrap Creative Reuse have worked a range of projects, providing workshops and training to families, teens and children for the past three years.Scrap Creative Reuse offer a range of training and projects and currently work in partnership with LCC family learning to deliver accredited creative arts workshops for families across Leeds. The workshops are based around basic literacy and numeracy using recycled arts resources to create props and books for children and include toy making, 3D Puppetmaking, and bookmaking.

The project is part of the Be Healthy! Be Creative 2010 Challenge. This free programme for schools asks children and young people to “Just do one thing well” with dozens of creative challenges to choose from on the day as well as exciting new challenges around health, wellbeing and sustainability.

What was FYT?

Find Your Talent was a national programme to explore new ways of opening up cultural and creative opportunities to young people. Leeds was one of the ten FYT Pathfinders in England.

The programme was led by Leeds City Council and Education Leeds, working closely together and with the city's cultural and community sectors to find ways for more young people to participate in the cultural life of the city.

FYT was funded to operate between 2008-2011 but its legacy in Leeds continues through activities under the Breeze banner, as well as other initiatives.